Senior Living Experts advisors are asked questions about cost quite frequently. Last month, we decided to make your questions even more clear by interviewing one of our senior living advisors, Nancy Pappas, on some of the most common cost questions we get. Nancy can be reached at (847) 287-3623.
Q: What is the cost of senior living?
A: That depends on what type of care you need, and whether you need it in your home or outside of your home in a community. It will vary by the type of care that you need and what location you choose.
Q: What is the upfront fee?
A: Typically, you will find an upfront fee. There are two types. One is called an entrance fee which is also known as a buy-in for continuing care retirement communities. It offers you the promise of future healthcare along a continuum. Or, a month-to-month rental basis will typically require a community fee that is non-refundable to help pay for taking care of the common areas and getting the apartment back to its original form.
Q: Does the cost go up annually?
A: Yes. Typically the cost will go up anywhere from 3-6%. This allows communities to provide raises for their employees and keep up with their own expenses, just as when you have increased expenses when living at home.
Q: When are levels of care considered as a resident continues to live there?
A: That depends on the community that you choose. Some communities specifically specialize in one level of care, such as assisted living or memory care. Someone may also need nursing care which will be in a skilled nursing home or you can have a continuum care retirement community that starts with independent living and offers the entire continuum from assisted living and memory care through skilled nursing.
Q: What if mom moves in the middle of the month?
A: You should expect that your community can prorate your monthly cost if they move in the middle of the month.
Q: Do I have to provide financial documents?
A: It depends on the community. Month-to-month rentals typically do not require financial disposure. However, if you are moving into a continuing care retirement community with the future promise of healthcare and they will never ask you to leave because of financial hardship, they will require financial disposure.
Q: If I put down a large entrance fee, when do I get that back?
A: Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. There are different types of plans that offer high refundability. High refundability will keep your monthly fee on the higher end. If you go with the plan that goes to a 50% refundability or 0 refundability, you will find that your monthly fee will be kept lower. So, depending on where your income and your assets fall is a good determinant of which plan is best for you.
Q: What are my incidental expenses?
A: Incidental expenses are typically things like toiletries, incontinence products, or medications that are not covered by Medicare, that you are personally responsible for in an assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing facility. Senior Living Experts can be reached at 771-213-7212, and the advisors will be happy to answer any more of your questions about senior living! We are just a phone call away.